Southwood debates what should, and shouldn't, be in the Autumn Statement

Head of Research Ben Southwood was in City AM this week debating what should, and should not, be in Philip Hammond's debut Autumn Statement.

Ben argued in City AM :

"Whenever growth is moribund, you will hear a chorus calling for infrastructure spending. The problem is entrusting nearly every bit of infrastructure to the state. The tiny bits we allow the market to tinker with – especially self-driving cars – are progressing in leaps and bounds that will revolutionise nearly every aspect of our lives.
"When the economy is stagnant, the best boost is tax cuts. Governments are bad at playing the markets – firms do it better. Instead of several £50bn projects in one sector, they invest across thousands of projects, directed by guesses driven by skin in the game and the profit motive, with an automatic mechanism to wind down failures – bankruptcy.
"If the government wants to raise productivity growth, it needs to raise investment, and let the private sector decide where to put that investment. If Philip Hammond cuts taxes, especially taxes like corporation tax, capital gains and stamp duty, which penalise research and capital investment, we will all reap the rewards."